Tennis Elbow question

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AACJ
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Tennis Elbow question

Post by AACJ »

Last month, I went to the Dr. because my elbow was hurting when I lived anything. She did some tests and an xray and determinted I have tennis elbow. She gave me some excercises to do and said to lay off doing stuff with that elbow for a while, but that if it continued to hurt, I could come in and she could give me a cortizone injection to help eleviate the inflamation.

Well now, since I basically switched arms, my OTHER elbow is hurting and I did my own self test, the one she did on me and I can only assume it is the same thing. My question is, has anyone had a cortizone shot for tennis elbow and how much pain did it relieve? I don't like shots, but I think at this point, I need one in each because they both hurt equally now. And is it a painful shot? I am not too pain tolerant, especialy with shots.
Art


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Post by desertbadger »

Art, I didn't have tennis elbow, but I do have a torn meniscus in my left knee. I had the cortisone shots and they did seem to help. However, with some people the shots don't work at all. Unfortunately, with the knee area they used a rather large syringe, and no, it wasn't fun.

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Post by jww »

I have avoided cortisone shots my entire life --- looking to more natural ways to work with and manage the pain. When I developed tendinitis in my elbow, the first thing I did was stop doing the activities that aggravated the injury. Then I started taking glucosamine supplements -- and, over time, found that they have been beneficial. I have also sought the services of both a chiropractor as well as a registered massage therapist. Over time, I have actually reversed the effects of the tendinitis to the point where I no longer have any pain. The glucosamine has been good for a couple of wrist injuries I have had.

It takes several weeks of both glucosamine coupled with non-invasive treatments, appropriate exercises, correctly fitted braces, etc. My particular approach was supported in full by my sports medicine doctor whom I had been referred to at the time.

Not to say I am not averse to medical intervention, I just prefer using non-invasive techniques where I can. BTW -- glucosamine did not work on repairing my blown knee several years ago -- for that, I had the reconstructive surgery. Sometimes you gotta do it. Hope you can get better - any kind of serious joint pain can be very debilitating.
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Post by drmoss_ca »

Art,
Tennis elbow is very simple. If you know what activity caused it, stop it. If you don't know, there are three choices:

1. Exercises to stretch the forearm extensors.
Results are slow, and depend partially on learning to lift objects with an underhand (palm up) grip rather than an overhand (palm down) grip.
Advantages are that you tend not to get any recurrence once you learn how to avoid the problem, and that you avoid painful injections (see below).
Disadvantages are that it is slow.

2. Physiotherapy, which simply lets you do the same as above whilst someone else directs you to do it and gets paid for doing so. Oh, OK, not quite fair; they can do ultrasound on the lateral epicondyle, which has not yet undergone any double blind study to show if it works. But is it a machine, and probably can be made to go 'ping!'
Results are the same as in 1. above.
Advantages are only relevant to the physiotherapist and his/her creditors.
Disadvantages are that it costs money, which may or may not matter financially depending on your insurance, or might matter timewise if you are impatient and have to wait, wait, wait ad infinitum as in Canada.

3. Steroid injection. It hurts a bit to do, but not enough to deter a normal human being. It will hurt much more during the night afterwards (for which the only useful aid is to keep a bag of frozen peas on the elbow, which will work better than any painkiller of which I am aware).
Results are nearly always effective.
Advantages are that it works quickly & reliably (if done by someone who knows how).
Disadvantages are that recurrence is common because you don't learn how to do things differently (see Advantages of #1 above). No real worry whatsoever about steroid systemic effects provided a depot preparation is used.

Chris
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Post by jww »

I like Chris's suggestions -- and am mightily impressed that he has been able to type all this information after that recent "incident" with a straight razor. :D
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Post by Reverend Jim »

I've had cortisone in both elbows--twice in one of them. It hurts to get the shots but it is well worth it. My injury comes from my woodworking hobby---sanding by hand causes it. I have found that a wrist guard like you might use for skating protection is a great help(it was recommended by my doctor). Somehow the movement of your wrist aggravates the tendon at the elbow. Good luck and try the wrist guard.
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Post by drmoss_ca »

There are several designs of tennis elbow brace on the market, but I think they work best at preventing recurrence rather than curing it once established. The clasping horseshoe-shaped ones are better than the Lastrap-style. There are pictures on this page, but all should be in local drugstores.

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Post by jww »

drmoss_ca wrote:There are several designs of tennis elbow brace on the market, but I think they work best at preventing recurrence rather than curing it once established. The clasping horseshoe-shaped ones are better than the Lastrap-style....

Chris
These are the type I have in my golf bag -- they have been unbelievable in relieving discomfort and in providing my ability to use my arm normally when I have had flare ups. Best medicine I have found, though, is to stop altogether the aggravating activity for a period of time, and treat via massage therapy, etc.
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Post by jkingrph »

jww wrote:
drmoss_ca wrote:There are several designs of tennis elbow brace on the market, but I think they work best at preventing recurrence rather than curing it once established. The clasping horseshoe-shaped ones are better than the Lastrap-style....

Chris
These are the type I have in my golf bag -- they have been unbelievable in relieving discomfort and in providing my ability to use my arm normally when I have had flare ups. Best medicine I have found, though, is to stop altogether the aggravating activity for a period of time, and treat via massage therapy, etc.
Being in one of the medical professions, I agree with this approach. Now in my mid 60's I am starting to have some of these problems, and it will have to get pretty darned bad for me to let a dr stick a needle into one of my joints. Steroids, usually accompanied by a long acting local anesthetic gives quick dramatic relief which sometimes will last for several months, but if you do not modify the activity causing the problem, it will recurr.
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Post by Pureslab »

Cortisone shots will and do work wonders , they hurt like hell when administered and for a few days following as get poked right into the joint.

The relief can last for months but essentially just masking the pain and you're limited to only a certain amount of them it seems from my own experience.
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Post by Bargepole »

Had it in my right arm for >1 year. Then my sister (who massages horses, for heaven's sake) said "Let me have a go." I said: "It hurts when I j--"

"Shut up," she said. Fiddled around. Pressed something. A terrible flare of agony for about 3 seconds and then... bingo. Never come back either. This was in a country pub in the Cotswolds, and cost me 1 large gin and tonic. Which for a life-changing bit of therapy -- it had got to the stage when I was scared to sit down at the keyboard -- was cheap, to say the least.

So I suppose the moral is (a) find a horse masseur and (b) believe your little sister when she says she knows how to do something.
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Post by jww »

Bargepole wrote:.... This was in a country pub in the Cotswolds, and cost me 1 large gin and tonic. Which for a life-changing bit of therapy ...
Good things can happen in pubs in the Cotswolds. :D

Image

What I want to know was whether they were offering a Ploughman's Lunch (my very favourite!)?
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Post by rsp1202 »

I've had shoulder and thoracic outlet surgery after getting run over by a car a few years back. Things still aren't the way they were before the accident -- but I'll never take another horse needle injection in my shoulder/neck ever again. There aren't enough cuss words in my vocabulary.
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Post by Pureslab »

rsp1202 wrote:I've had shoulder and thoracic outlet surgery after getting run over by a car a few years back. Things still aren't the way they were before the accident -- but I'll never take another horse needle injection in my shoulder/neck ever again. There aren't enough cuss words in my vocabulary.

Yeah , that needle looks like a turkey baster filled with milk.

The fun part is letting the doctor get it deep enough into the joint for it to really be effective.
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